maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question.

W.I.N. Wednesday: The Caution With Best Practices

In his book Up, Down and Sideways, author, trainer and thought leader Mark Sanborn cautions us about Best Practices. He says best practices always have three qualifiers:

  1. Best practices for now.
  2. Best practices we know of.
  3. Best practices given the circumstances.

He suggests you seek Better Practices and Next Practices. He defines them as:

  • Better Practices – How can you do what everyone else is doing, but do it better?
  • Next Practices – How can you change the game?

The goal is Next Practices.

Think about this for a moment. How often has your organization spent months researching ‘Best Practices’? After months of reaching out to who you think might be using Best Practices you spend another month writing the report and citing all your research. The report then sits on the boss’ desk or in their In Box for another month before they make time to read it. By the time you start to implement these “Best Practices” they are old practices and those organizations you studied have likely moved on to something different.

The key is to be continually aware of what is going on in your industry and then strive for Next Practices by asking yourself, “How can I / we change the game?”

That is what leading organization do all the time. Apple, Nike, Amazon, and Zappos didn’t ask, “What is everyone else doing?” and then say, “Ok, Lets do that.” Or “lets do that better than them.” They set out to change the game, and maybe even change the world.

You don’t have to change the world, but you can strive to change the game.

When you change the game you set a new benchmark for everyone else to look at as ‘Best Practices”. While they are striving to catch up to you, you are asking, “What’s Next?”

What’s Important Now? Strive for Next Practices. Strive to change the game. Keep on striving.

Take care.

Brian Willis


Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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